Beauty Store Business magazine - January, 2020

Michelle Phan Debuts Makeup Brand With Help From Her Beauty Community

Michelle Phan Debuts Makeup Brand With Help From Her Beauty Community

em michelle phan, the first makeup line co-created by a community of beauty lovers and beauty expert Michelle Phan, launched recently. The startup-style brand from the L'Oréal Luxe group is being sold exclusively now to U.S. customers at

"em michelle phan was designed for and with my community to meet their authentic beauty needs, based on years of input I received while being a beauty mentor," says Phan. "My focus from the beginning has always been about empowering women to tell their own beauty stories with makeup."

Phan is self-taught and was one of the first beauty vloggers to produce story-driven makeup tutorials. She is the No. 1 beauty guru on YouTube, where she began uploading tutorials in 2007. To date, she has garnered nearly 1 billion views and has 4.5 million subscribers. (A video posted Aug. 15 about em michelle phan on YouTube had more than 1 million views and 20,000-plus comments when Beauty Store Business posted this news item.)

Carol Hamilton, president of L'Oréal Luxe, states, "Beauty lovers are increasingly consuming and sharing information digitally through online communities. We saw the power of these communities and wanted to meet them where they live—online. Michelle Phan's expertise in makeup plus her passion for teaching and empowering women has made her a digital phenomenon. She represents exactly what this line is all about—community, empowerment, artistry."

em, a Vietnamese word meaning "you," is used affectionately to address loved ones, including a little sister, girlfriend or elder. It is also literally and figuratively a reflection of "me"; the makeup line reflects the needs of Phan's community, their personal beauty stories and life moments. The community has been a part of every piece of the brand—providing input on launch products, shade names and product packaging. Community members also appear in package design, brand photography and on the em michelle phan website.

Created to offer a social-ecommerce experience, the site allows beauty lovers to interact with friends and other consumers, to provide feedback on creating looks and on the products, and to share on their own social-media channels. The makeup brand's site is designed to enhance the digital-shopping experience. Features include:

  • Tutorials: They're available for every product and makeup look.
  • People Like Me: This feature allows visitors to identify other em michelle phan users who look like them (i.e., similar skin, hair and eye color, etc.) and shop the same products.
  • Custom Video Player Experience: A video player showcases the products used to create each of the em michelle phan custom looks; so users can shop directly from the player while learning how to create beauty stories with the line's products.
  • Uploaded Looks: Users will have the ability to upload looks and tutorials created with the em michelle phan line to their profiles. They will also have the ability to view other users' uploaded looks to learn more about the products and get inspired.

The line offers more than 250 SKUs, including:

The Life Palette: Refillable eye shadow, cheek and lip palette with 36 shades each, themed around specific life moments and beauty stories—including Love Life, Day Life, Beach Life, Career Life, Party Life and Night Life, priced at $75

Shade Play: Artistic Cheek Color Palette, available in 10 palettes, priced at $28; Lip Color Mixing Palette, available in six palettes, priced at $28; Artistic Eye Color Palette, available in 15 palettes, priced at $38

The Great Cover Up: A creamy concealer in eight shades; priced at $19

Makeup Mood Enhancer:
Illuminating skin filter in five shades; priced at $25

Pillow Plush: Cushiony lip balm in seven shades; priced at $15

Chiaroscuro: Contour and highlighting stick in four shades; priced at $25

Waterliner: Intense color eye liner in 12 shades; priced at $20

The line is also utilizing Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

[Image courtesy of PRNewsFoto/em michelle phan]